When you have dealt with chronic back pain for months or years, it is easy to grow so tired of the constant pain that you are willing to do anything. Even if your pain ebbs and returns, finding a long-term solution is probably a primary focus. But before you get caught up in treatments from a back pain specialist that may or may not work, it is important to do your due diligence. When you meet with a back pain specialist for the first time, start with these questions to help you get a better idea about what their treatments will provide.
How will you diagnose my back pain?
This is an important question to start with because it will give you an idea of how thorough and comprehensive a back pain specialist will be. Some will focus just on the area you feel pain, while others will look into your medical history and your body as a whole to better find the root cause of your pain. The latter is more likely to treat the cause of your pain rather than offer treatment for your symptoms. For lasting back pain relief, find a back pain specialist who will not treat your pain as an isolated issue, but rather as an integral part of your body’s functioning.
What tests will you run?
Medical history and information about how and where you experience pain can be vital in creating a diagnosis. However, those components will not provide a full idea about what is happening in your body. Find a back pain specialist who will take x-rays and run other tests before making a diagnosis. This will help you ensure your care provider is taking all the steps necessary to find the root cause of your pain.
Are medications necessary? If yes, for how long?
After the initial consultation to get an idea of what is happening specifically in your body, pain relief should be the next item on the agenda. This may include options like a chiropractic adjustment, massage therapy, or acupuncture. If medication is prescribed, it is important to set expectations up front — and to get it in writing, if possible. Ask whether it is necessary, how frequently you should take the medication, and how long you will need to take it. If the answer for duration is “indefinitely” or “ongoing,” you may want to ask a few clarifying questions to ensure their plan isn’t simply to mask your symptoms with medication.
How will treatments work?
We are talking about back pain treatments that will affect your body; you have a right to know exactly what will be done to treat your pain and how it will work. Ask your doctor to walk you through the treatment plan and explain why he or she chose that method. This is a good way to gain further understanding about what is going on in your body, how treatments will affect you, and what the aim of each treatment is. This is also a good way to ensure your back pain specialist has chosen treatments based on your specific circumstances and needs, rather than choosing treatments by rote.
Can you write down your treatment plan?
Generally speaking, visits to the doctor come with an overwhelming amount of information. Odds are good you will forget half of what you were told within half an hour of leaving the office. Ask your back pain specialist to write down or print out information that you can take with you. That way, you can study and re-read everything on your own time. There will be less chance of you forgetting something important, and it will help you get a better understanding of the cause of your pain as well as what will be done to treat it. Getting materials to take with you will also give you the opportunity to think of any additional questions you wish to ask on your next visit.
Is there anything I should or shouldn’t do to supplement treatments?
You may be hindering your own healing without realizing it. In order to prevent that from happening, it is important to ask if there is anything you should or should not do. Your back pain specialist may provide you with stretches or exercises to build up certain muscles, or they may tell you to avoid certain activities. Any instructions will depend on the cause of your back pain as well as the treatment plan.
Finding back pain treatment can be a difficult process, but it should never be so convoluted you do not know what to expect. Start with the above questions to help you better understand what your back pain specialist plans and why. If you are looking for back pain relief in Peoria, contact the back pain specialists at Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa today to schedule your consultation.